One gray spring afternoon last year, thousands of people descended on Manhattan's Union Square for a rally to call for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. It had been several weeks since Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, was killed by Zimmerman, then 28, who identifies himself as Hispanic, after a confrontation one Sunday night in a gated housing community where both Zimmerman and Martin's father resided.
The police in Sanford, Fla., held Zimmerman for a night and released him after deciding he'd acted in self-defense.
News stories can often be distilled into good guys versus bad guys, heroes versus villains. But what makes a villain? What's the difference between a garden-variety bad guy and an evil genius, besides a couple of IQ points? Those are the questions pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman grapples with in his new book, I Wear The Black Hat.
Egypt has undergone profound change over the past 10 days. The military has overthrown an elected Islamist president and is back in control of the country amid deadly clashes between Islamists and the state security forces.
There's been another change as well: Egypt's police, long reviled by much of the population, have become unlikely heroes for opponents of the now-ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
During Egypt's 2011 uprising, revolutionaries fought pitched street battles with the police force, the protector of the autocratic regime.
The Senate is planning to vote Wednesday on a plan to bring interest rates on subsidized federal student loans back down to 3.4 percent for one more year. The rate doubled on July 1 when the chamber failed to agree on a plan.
While the Senate prepares to take the issue back up, college students are left staring at several competing proposals.
Scientists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are still trying to understand what exactly caused a tsunami to strike the East Coast in June. There was no seismic record of the incident. But a team of scientists came together to analyze tidal and weather data. They believe the tsunami may have been caused by a weather phenomenon known as a "derecho."
A former judge for the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court raised questions about the court's approval of government data collection programs on Tuesday. He was testifying before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency considering recently uncovered surveillance efforts.
In Washington on Capitol Hill, there are varying reactions to the events in Egypt. Congress was on vacation last week when Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power. Now, they're back and confronted with a big question about what happened in Cairo. Will they declare it a military coup? If they do, U.S. law would require all military aide to Egypt to be suspended. As NPR's David Welna reports, there's little consensus about whether that assistance should be cut off.